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House Passes Juvenile Justice Bill

On September 20, the House passed, by voice vote, legislation (H.R. 1900) that would reauthorize existing programs designed to prevent and reduce crimes committed by juvenile offenders. Although most of the provisions in the bill expired in 1996, efforts over the past five years to renew the measure were hampered by gun control amendments that proved controversial (see The Source, 6/22/01, p. 3).

Sponsored by Reps. James Greenwood (R-PA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), the bill would reauthorize juvenile justice programs through FY2006 and would give states flexibility on how they would use federal dollars for local initiatives. Overall, the bill would consolidate five programs into one block grant, including: boot camps, mentoring projects, child abuse services, drug treatment programs, and state challenge activities. Also included are provisions that call for a study of gun violence among youth and an allowable use of funds for character building programs

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